Lithuania pays Iraqis €1,000 to return to Iraq
Shafaq News/ Lithuania offered a one-time payment of €1,000 to Iraqi nationals voluntarily leaving the country, Euronews said on Monday.
According to Lithuanian authorities, 98 Iraqi citizens left for Iraq on a charter flight, volunteering to return to their homeland. This is the first charter flight from Lithuania to return people who crossed the Lithuanian border illegally to their country of origin because they have not been granted asylum.
“We estimate how much it costs for us one migrant,” said Agnè Bilotaite, Lithuanian Minister of the Interior. “The basic cost of maintaining one migrant is €11,000 per year. It is obviously much more profitable for us to offer a benefit, buy a ticket or arrange a flight and thus have fewer challenges and other problems.”
Since the beginning of the migration crisis, Vilnius has expelled more than 500 migrants who arrived via Belarus. Over 3,000 remain in Lithuanian refugee centres.
“We need to start thinking what we will do when the term in refugee centres will be over,” said Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius, the chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary committee for human rights. “To talk about integration. Otherwise, they will try to reach other European countries.”
Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, followed by the EU, the US and other western countries accused the government of Alexander Lukashenko of using illegal migrants to solve political problems. Minsk and Moscow blame Europe for the crisis and for the fate of refugees.
According to the Belarus Red Cross, there are about 600 foreigners hoping to get into the EU at a holding centre near the border.